Native to tropical America and Florida, but introduced to Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest.
An annual grass that reproduces from seeds. It can be found as a very common roadside weed in Hawaii, and also occurs in pastures and cultivated areas, along roadsides and in disturbed sites, as well as along the banks of water courses.
Mature plants grow to about 2 feet in height, with numerous stems arising from the base. These are slightly flattened, and are sometimes purplish at the joints. The stems are rigid, but do create a spreading habit. The leaves are up to 6 inches long with a rounded tip and a rough texture. The flower head is a radiate arrangement of feathery spikelets that arise from a single point at the end of the stem, and generally project upward almost cuplike, to about 3 inches in length. The flowers each have several long, slim awns, and the overall color is dark purplish.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Physical removal of single plants if effective. Chemical control can be achieved using a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent seed germination, or a non-selective contact or systemic herbicide on maturing plants.